United Biolabs is located in Maryland's Interstate 270 Technology Corridor, which is home to hundreds of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as well as a number of federal research institutes.
United BioLabs is committed to developing the highest quality products and reagents for life science research. The following reagents and services are currently available:
lentivirus production and purification,
protein production using E. coli, yeast (Pichia pastoris), insect cells, and mammalian cells, and protein purification
generation of stable cell lines
cell specific immunotoxins
Please note we can only work with customers located in the U.S. and Canada.
A team of scientists at United BioLabs is focusing on the development of immunotoxins that kill specific cells with extremely high efficiency. Those immunotoxins are produced in proprietary strains of methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris.
Immunotoxins are chimeric proteins consisting of a cell-targeting portion linked to a toxin. The cell-targeting portion is usually an antigen specific antibody fragment or single-chain variable fragment (scFv). The toxin is usually derived from a bacterial or plant protein, particularly ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP) such as Diphtheria toxin, Pseudomonas exotoxin, and Saporin. In immunotoxins the toxin's natural cell-binding domain, if any, has been removed so that the antigen specific portion directs the chimeric proteins to the antigen on the target cells. Once binding to the cells, the immunotoxins are taken in through endocytosis, and the toxin then kills the cells.
Using P. pastoris we have successfully produced a number of immunotoxins that specifically kill cancer cells both in vitro and in mouse xenografts.
In addition to killing cancer cells, immunotoxins can also be used to eradicate other types of cells in vivo with high specificity, which makes immunotoxins an important tool in both clinical research and functional studies.
United BioLabs uses proprietary methods to produce and purify lentiviral particles for customers. To best meet customers' needs a variety of lentiviral transfer vectors are provided.
Compared to widely used plasmid transfection, lentirviral particle transduction provides efficient gene delivery and stable integration. That makes lentiviral particles particularly useful in rapidly generating stable cell lines. Stable cell lines mediated by lentivirus transduction can be obtained in as short as 10 days.
United BioLabs produces both integrating (normal) and non-integrating lentiviral particles for customers. Integration of viral DNA into host genome is normally mediated by the viral integrase. Using an integrase-defective lentiviral vector packaging system we are able to generate non-integrating (integration-deficient) lentiviral particles. The frequency of integration caused by integrase-defective lentivirus was thousands of times lower compared to integrating lentivirus. By using non-integrating lentiviral particles, the undesired insertion of viral DNA into host genomes is thus significantly reduced. Non-intergrating lentiviruses are preferred in applications where transient or episomal expression is required.
We make custom lentiviral particles for shRNAs, proteins, and CRISPR/Cas9 system
United BioLabs uses methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris for soluble protein production
Many proteins that are not soluble or difficult to express in E. coli are produced in soluble and active form in Pichia pastoris. Pichia pastoris culture can be grown to very high densities, which allows for high level protein production. Pichia pastoris does not generate endotoxin and holds a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status. In contrast, proteins produced by E. coli are inevitably contaminated with endotoxin.
United BioLabs offers service on generating stable Pichia pastoris cell lines for high level production of therapeutically or commercially important proteins. Our proprietary Pichia pastoris strains make it possible to express difficult proteins at high levels.
Insect cells are able to carry out more complex post-translational modifications than yeast cells. This system involves recombinant baculovirus generation and baculovirus expansion before protein production, thus requiring much longer time than E. coli or yeast.
Proteins synthesized in mammalian cells are similar to those naturally occurring in human and other mammals with respect to structures and biochemical properties. Mammalian cells are the preferred expression hosts to produce complex glycosylated proteins.
At United BioLabs human HEK293 cell and Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell are usually used for both transient and stable expression of proteins. Other mammalian cells can be used as well upon customers' request.
E. coli is widely used for heterologous protein production owing to its fast growth, low cost, and easy handling. However, the lacking of necessary posttranslational modification machinery in E. coli often results in mis-folded or non-active proteins. Figure 1 below shows typical results of recombinant proteins isolated from E. coli.
United BioLabs is making use of the powerful lentivirus system for rapid generation of stable cell lines. In contrast to the commonly used plasmid transfection, lentivirus transduction is highly effective in gene delivery and stable integration of transgene into host cell genomes, and thus substantially shortening the overall time in obtaining desired cell lines. Using lentivirus technology a stable cell line can be obtained in as short as one month.
Which gene can be integrated into the cells' genome?
Most genes or regulators that can be packaged into the lentivirus may be used for stable cell line generation. They fall into the following categories:
Which host cells are used?
For recombinant protein production CHO-K1 and HEK293 cells are widely used. Customers may choose other suitable cells.
Scientists at United BioLabs have extensive experience working with a wide range of cell lines and primary cells. We have successfully generated many stable clones in CHO, BHK, HEK293, HeLa, MCF-7, U937, and NIH/3T3 cells.
What will customers receive?
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